PROS / EMS+ doesn't charge a monthly fee.
CONS / You don't get a dedicated account representative from this service.
VERDICT / While EMS+ offers good rates and doesn't charge fees, its customer service failed to follow up with us.
EMS+ is the mobile processing branch of Electronic Merchant Systems, a payment processing service that has been in business since 1987. This mobile credit card processor charges a simple flat rate on swiped transactions and provides Android-compatible mobile card readers. Because it has good rates, an easy setup and doesn't charge any fees, we awarded EMS+ our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
You can download EMS+'s free mobile processing app from Google Play. The company ships you one Android magstripe swiper free, but replacements and additional swipers cost $10 each. EMS+ doesn't currently have an EMV-compliant card reader but is developing one that will accept EMV cards as well as NFC payments like Android Pay. It plans to charge $95 dollars for this card reader. The company doesn't include information on its website about compatible accessory equipment, such as receipt printers or cash drawers, that could be used to set up a checkout station.
Fees & Pricing
EMS+'s flat swiped rate is one of the lowest of the processors we reviewed. Every swiped transaction has a 2.25 percent processing fee, regardless of whether a credit, debit, rewards or corporate card is used. Like many processors, the exception is American Express cards, which are processed at a higher rate and require you to set up an account with American Express. The rate for keying in the transaction is higher, with a 3.50 percent processing fee and an additional $0.15 per-transaction fee.
This mobile processing company doesn't charge a monthly fee or require you to meet a monthly minimum of transaction costs. It also doesn't charge you a PCI-compliance or noncompliance fee.
EMS+ offers many of the basic features common to Android credit card processing apps, such as emailing receipts, capturing tips and tracking inventory. Even though it doesn't charge you a monthly statement fee and provides online reporting, the company mails you a paper statement each month.
Because credit card processing companies are working with your money, it's important that they're transparent and consistent with the information they provide about pricing and terms. EMS+ posts its pricing and fee information online but not its terms. This omission caused its score to dip to 75 percent. The reps we spoke with provided us with consistent pricing information that matched what was posted on the company's website.
Setup & Service
EMS+ has a very simple application process, with online registration that requires just a few pieces of personal information. You can use your Social Security number if you don't have a business license, however, EMS+ requires that you use your mobile processing account for your business. It's not intended for consumer use, so you can't use it for more casual uses, such as accepting credit cards at a garage sale.
This mobile credit card processing service for Android users doesn't require a lengthy contract and usually can set up your account within 24 hours, though you have to wait for your card reader to arrive, unless you want to pay the higher keyed-in rate.
Once your application has been approved and you've started processing, your funds are deposited into your account within two business days, which is an average amount of time for the account to be cleared.
EMS+ offers 24/7 in-house phone support in addition to live chat, but it doesn't assign you a dedicated account representative. While EMS+'s customer service was initially helpful and knowledgeable, representatives didn't reply to follow-up questions we sent via email. Therefore, we recommend calling EMS+ or using the live chat feature on the company's website if you need a quick answer to any questions you may have about the service or its pricing and terms.
In addition to posting its rates on its website, the company describes it services, offers FAQs and a blog with articles on topics of interest to small business owners such as marketing, customer loyalty and social media.
EMS+ provides Android credit card swipers to its merchants and has a simple flat rate that's one of the lowest among the processors we reviewed. It doesn't require a lengthy contract, nor does it charge monthly or annual fees. However, it doesn't yet have an EMV-compliant credit card reader available, and its customer service isn't as responsive as other processors we evaluated.